By DUANE NOLLEN
The Oskaloosa Herald
U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley stopped in Oskaloosa Tuesday afternoon to hear what’s on people’s minds.
The U.S. Senate is having its Easter Break, and Grassley took the opportunity to visit 30 Iowa communities during that time.
During Grassley’s one hour town hall meeting, he fielded questions such as gun control, illegal immigration and the budget.
One audience member asked about the United Nations small arms treaty.
“If it comes to the U.S. Senate, I’ll vote against it,” Grassley said.
If there would be a vote in the Senate on the treaty, it would not have much of a chance of it being ratified, he added.
Grassley also talked about an alternative to the Democrat’s gun control bill that he is crafting. Grassley’s bill would include a provision dealing with gun trafficking to prevent another gun fiasco such as Operation Fast and Furious. He also favors additional school safety measures as well.
Grassley also said that he would support a filibuster of a Democratic gun control bill in the Senate.
An audience member asked Grassley about the Department of Homeland Security buying massive amounts of ammunition, so much so that it is becoming scarce in stores.
Grassley said that he has written a letter to the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security on the matter, and when he has a response, Grassley said he will post it on his Web site.
“It does sound like a ridiculous situation,” Grassley said.
Grassley also fielded a question on illegal immigration.
An audience member asked about illegal alien citizenship.
Grassley said such a bill is not ready yet for debate and that he would like to read it before commenting.
Grassley said he supports electronic employment verification and increased penalties for hiring illegal immigrants.
An audience member asked Grassley about the federal budget.
Grassley said the House and Senate each passed a budget proposal about two weeks ago.
The House version called for no tax increases to balance the budget and spending $41 trillion over the next 10 years. On the other hand, the Senate version called for a $1 trillion tax increase and spending $47 trillion over the next 10 years without balancing the budget.
Grassley said he supported the House budget version that was offered as an amendment to the Senate bill.
Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org